Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top 10 Halloween Recollections

 1. Rarely did we go to a "Halloween Store".  Typically we went up into the attic in the trunk and threw an idea together and used our imagination to create. There was always an extra sweaty mask to use.

2. We were a  tad spoiled though.  When we were little, Granny who lived with us used to hand sew our costumes.  I still have the Martha Washington gown, the Pilgrim and the clown outfit. They are a little snug now.

3.I remember the slashers that came around later in the evening and slit a gash in our Halloween paper bags and squealed with delight when they picked up all that candy and stuffed it in their pillow cases that they were using for bags.  There were no masks, we know who they were.  After we got over the fear and tears, we thought maybe those kids needed the candy more than we did. Of course, I am more mature now and NOBODY gets my chocolate without a fight. My husband tells the story of being small and young and dragging the bag along the street and getting home with a big whole in it and no candy at all. He still suffers from that nightmare.

4. My mother was the ultimate decorator for holidays but Halloween was her favorite and she often dressed up as a witch and would come to my house to distribute candy along with my mother in law when we took our kids trick or treating.

5. Dividing up the evenings profits was always a favorite time in my youth.  My ultimate favorite at the time was Nestles Crunch and I would trade my soul for an extra one of those.  My brother, always the quota conscious favored Mallo Cups.  Do you remember those, stuffed with a marshmallow cream?  They also contained little cards inside that had value.  After you collected so many points, you could send away for a BOX of them.  He was a saver and by Halloween he was always able to cash in. If your kids don't come home with any Mallo Cups, I looked it up, I know where you can find them. Store locator

6. Soaping windows was the standard but can you imagine kids doing that now all the alarms in the neighborhood would be blaring.  That would not be fun.

7. Running through the alleys and knocking over trash cans.  Ugh first of all, nobody travels in a dark alley anymore but can you imagine that trash all over.  As an adult, I now realize the juvenile things we did weren't all that funny.

8. Prank phone calls were extremely annoying as well.  Is your refrigerator running?  Well go catch
it.   We would cackle and roar with laughter, thinking we are just the funniest things on the planet.  It comes back to hunt you.  How about all the soliciting calls we get now? Most of them are about politicians, scary scary stuff!

9. I never did toilet paper any trees but when you woke up the next morning you often wondered just what those people did to invoke the need to stand out, be picked on and be part of the trickery.

10. Trick or treating for UNICEF. 

 I know we were not allowed to eat any candy until our parents looked it over.  That I specifically remember, and I also remember a shorter count when I got it back.  I always suspected gremlins took it.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Top 10 Scary Things







Slippery Slopes



Stock Market 

It is mischief night let's keep it safe

  A line from an old television show, Hill Street Blues,  

Let's Be Careful Out There.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top 10 Calm before and after the Nor'easter the saga continues.

1. Everyone is friendly and everyone is considered family at LBI.   It is a picture perfect postcard town.  Tourists may support it in the summer but the backbone are the local residents and they are storm troopers.

2. The only real loss we personally suffered from the storm last year was the house we rent yearly in Ship Bottom is no longer renting out.  It was a great house that we were going to for about the last 7 or 8 years and we considered it our summer home for the week.  Everyone in the family knew exactly where their room was and guests also had their suite.  It was a routine setup for us and a place we will miss.  They did not suffer too much damage during the storm as far as we could tell because the house sat up higher than the others but they did have a basement, a rarity on the island and I am sure that took on water.  That part of the island generally took on a lot of water and two to three weeks after the storm when they allowed people back on the island there were just blocks and blocks of debris placed at the curb in that area. It is close to the causeway, the bridge into Long Beach Island.

3. We know quite a few families affected by Superstorm Sandy in all sections of the island. As I am sure many of us did, New Jersey is so closely related and vacation land to a great majority of Pennsylvania residents.   LBI can flood at the drop of a swift rainstorm.  It accumulates quickly leaving the boulevard with big puddles on select corners and the street back by the bay can usually fill up too, so traveling around can be a challenge even during normal inclement weather. Two of the families that we routinely try and hook up with on vacation week are still not in their homes. One house sits right across the street from the bay and were included in just about every aerial view taken by helicopter as a decimated area.  It is a beautiful location to catch the sunset. You can see it easily from the front porch but a very bad location on a rainy day.  It always floods.  They do have a second floor but they took in 3 to 4 feet of water in their first floor.   They were planning on being back in their home by Memorial Day weekend.  There is still construction going on at their home. The other family we know was affected in a deeper way.  Not that the first family was not devastated by the loss, but the second family was struck in a different way.  I can’t say exactly how long this house has been in this good family but I have been going to their home for over 25 years.  The parents moved there when they retired and the husband passed away a few years back.  His wife remained on the island it was their full time home.  The funny story I remember about him, that his wife told is, he walked the beach everyday fished or brought something back.  One day he tried to make seaweed soup and it was terrible.  She did evacuate the island during the storm and stayed with her son, our friend's family in North Jersey.  She is still not back in her home.  My heart breaks for her.  She is away from her home and her friends and many things were lost during the storm.  We saw them piled at the curb. True they are just things and things can be replaced but the memories can't.  I shook my head in sadness for all the family.  Holgate homes are still standing but there is some work yet to be completed all over the island.

4. Others stories of families affected by the storm we accumulated by coming across people on the island this past year. I mentioned Old Barney, the lighthouse and Holgate as the bookends of familiarity of the island.  If your turn left you head to the lighthouse and right is Holgate at either end. You can’t really see them when you cross the causeway but you know they are there.  Both are the symbolic landmarks of the island as they hung and hold everything else in place.  During a storm, any storm, I would assume but from my experience a few weeks ago, these are the things you want to check on and many people did.  One guy we met over the summer stayed in Barnegat during Sandy.  He said it wasn’t so bad during the storm.  He lives in an older sturdy home that survived many storms but he said it was tough without electricity and heat.  It did get cold.  If you remember the weather did shift after that storm.  He said the fire house was an invaluable source for him.  They had ice and they had food.  Barnegat was not hit so badly this time, but one of the towns that you have to travel through to get there did, North Beach was rocked and you can still see construction vehicles repairing many of those homes.

5. The nor’easter was scheduled to hit on Wednesday evening October 9th this year.  I can’t tell you why they did this but in certain areas of the island they were flushing the fire hydrants starting on Monday and water was already gathering in the streets. The lanes were marked with orange construction cones and travel was limited.  I still wonder why they didn’t wait until after the rainstorm.  Maybe there was a distinct reason.  Not many people were left on the island.  It had just been a big weekend with Chowderfest.  It is always a pleasant sight to watch all the traffic leave the island and you are still one of the lucky ones there.  They even turn off the traffic lights that week.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  It was not a sunshine blue sky day but I did catch a sunrise, which surprised me. After breakfast, I decided that Holgate was today’s destination.  It is probably about a 40 minute bike ride from where I was staying.  Hard for me to judge because when I typically take the ride it is casual and I meander up and down the more interesting streets.  There is one street, Berkeley that I just love.  I want to live in any of those houses when I become rich and famous they are all gorgeous.  Simple homes that probably sell in the range of 500K – 600K but less if you were not a block from the beach, location certainly matters. Fighting the wind heading to Holgate on this day probably would have taken 3 hours and I would have been exhausted.  Who would have driven me home, the opposing wind, I surmise.  I drove my car and was at Holgate in maybe 8 minutes.  I had company.  There were maintenance guys doing something with port o potties.  I found this a strange one.  Do they do that for all impeding storms?  Finally it dawned on me the 18 Mile Race (island tip to tip) was on Saturday and this was the starting point.  Just parking the car I could feel the force of the wind and struggled to open my car door to get out.  The wind was whipping and frightening on its own but the real intimidation was the height of the waves and land that is typically visual was covered by water at 10am and high tide was not until 2 in the afternoon so I was told by another curious islander watching the ocean as it commanded attention.  I wasn’t out of the car long, nor did I observe anyone else stoically standing there long.  We all just wanted to get a look.  I spotted something within the rip roaring tide to my right.  It was a little too close to shore for dolphins so I adjusted the magnification on my camera and identified the creatures.  These birds were riding the waves with great enthusiasm and delight.  There were easily two dozen of them and then there were two, the others had been tossed about in the surf but eventually they popped up too.  You could just imagine if they were children or even adults they would be laughing and screaming with delight.  This is how we play with the ocean.  The sea ducks loved it.

6. The coastline of Holgate was pushed way back. It was not meeting the bay but there was not much of that stretch of island visible.  I decided this was the spot I would try my hand at watercolors while I sat in the car.  I had all the supplies with me and I was feeling the moment.  I did not capture the ducks I was looking straight ahead beyond the fence at the ocean, crashing against the beach.  You could still see the beach in front of me through the fence.   As I sat there contemplating the scene and how to best approach it I put brush to paint and paint to paper and I learned how to mix color and create texture from the twist of a brush.  I sound like a professional right?  Well this lady thought so.  She was peering over my shoulder into my car window.  I turned a little startled when I saw her and she said very nice.  I wanted to crack up, she was very kind.  She went over and took a photograph of the swirling sea and her husband soon got out of his car as well and checked out the commotion.  The next thing I know he is also at my back observing the novice artist, he nods.  I had to roll my window down now and say, you know, I have never painted before in my life, he says, you would never know it and you picked a great topic.  These are the people you find on Long Beach Island or they find you.  I also came across my girlfriend’s father.  I saw this man walk out onto the beach and just admire the ocean.  I wanted to get a few more pictures and I included him because he looked so familiar.  It couldn’t possibly have been my friend’s dad, he passed some years back but he was just as soft spoken.  He was a permanent resident of California but comes to the island in the off season.  His in-laws had a place and they inherited it.  He likes the solitude this time of year. They had some damage and he was hoping this impeding storm would be gentle.  They just finished all their repairs.  His place was in Shipbottom and he was also going to head down to the lighthouse and check out the surge.  I wasn’t thinking Barnegat today but it did sound like the right thing to do   checking in with the whole island.  Long Beach Island is 18 miles long tip to tip and that is what I would be driving.  It takes about 30 minutes even without traffic as I pass many familiar icons and I discover a new one every time I take this journey.  Long Beach Island is full of beauty, history and mystery.  That massacre sign is posted in three locations in the Barnegat area and I still can’t figure out exactly where it took place but General Meade is always waiting and manning his post at the base of the Barnegat Lighthouse.  He lead his soldiers through the Battle of Gettysburg, one can’t help thinking he will see the island through a storm. My painting is rudimentary, admittedly so, but everyone has to start somewhere.

7. The parking lot was bustling more than I had expected.  Fishermen and women were fighting the elements which the morning before the storm was very windy conditions, high seas.  I have never seen the water crash over the sea wall before and the fish were jumping.  I ran into some people I had met over the summer at the Governor Christie rally at Bay Village.  We reacquainted ourselves and watched the coast guard boats, there were two of them come into the inlet and the boat was struggling through the power of the ocean.  We also observed a boat heading out into that tumultuous sea.  He could not have possibly expected to catch fish this day.  The water was too unpredictable; we discounted him as a dare-devil joy rider and he only was putting himself in danger and perhaps a later SOS call to the coast guard.  I never heard anything later on the news but I suspect he came back in safely.  I also inquired to a man and woman that were fishing if it was better to fish under these conditions and her reply was, you fish when you can, we will be shut down a few days from the storm.  It seemed logical to me.  The couple I met was from across the bridge on the bay side near Tuckerton and invited me to a talk about the ecosystem.  I was curious but doubtful I would make it with the predicted weather coming in that night.  It started at 7pm.  The weather station said the rain was coming at 6.  Even stronger winds arrived just before that but no rain, so I chanced the adventure and drove about thirty minutes to my destination.  The rain held off until I was crossing the causeway on my way back to the island about 9:30pm.  The talk was interesting and I was glad I went.  They talked about the area over there and how it was impacted by Sandy and how nature took the storm well.  It was mostly man-made structures that floated away, some were found miles away. Great Bay Boulevard is a great place to explore in that area. Head out towards the tip over Seven Bridge Road.  It is a whole different world out there.

8. Back on the island and safe inside, you could hear the greenery outside sloshing across the windows and the wind and rain creating its own special sound proving it also was making an appearance.  This went on all evening and into the dawn.  It rained all day on Thursday and I was not going anywhere.  I engaged myself with one of my tools I use I use to calm myself when I am in a contemplative mood, a jigsaw puzzle and I also turned on the television, not something that even soothes my nerves but I thought it may be a good idea to keep up with the outside world.  The weather channel wasn’t doing it for me so I decided to watch the national news and found myself smack in the middle of the shutdown.  I consider myself an independent and try not to have gossip on the right or left affect me so I have to switch stations.  I know who watches which stations and how unbalanced two particular stations are just like our elected officials.  The divide is deep but I think and I could be wrong but most Americans fall into that gap in the center.  They were not settling anything this day.  The weather was harsh.I did what one of the islanders had recommended earlier that day, I hunkered down.  The funny thing about jigsaw puzzles, eventually the pieces do fit.

9. Friday was still a little overcast and a steady drizzle fell most of the day but scouting around the island was possible. I had to get out of the house.  I headed first to the sunrise spot at the pavilion.  I noticed a hill of sand on the walkway.  This was newly created by the storm.  I also came across a sign posting that I had not seen earlier in the week.  It was a notice and an opportunity to make a difference.  Local neighbors were getting together on Saturday, the rain date as Sunday to plant dune grass and were looking for volunteers.  I thought it was a great idea but Saturday was another iffy weather day.  I wanted to help.  On Sunday morning when I returned to the same area, magically the dune grass covered the hill and a few remnants were left along with the tools so I was able to make contributions.  I can’t boast that I made a huge difference and was part of the main work on Saturday but on Sunday morning I did plant some of the dune grass and I hope it makes a difference in weathering the next storm.  One thing I do know about this island is the resilience an if you are offered the opportunity, you do what you can to restore the shore.  An interesting tool was used to plant the grass.  It was a baseball ball cut down with a tennis ball on the end.

 10. I have taken the historical tour of this island and the haunted tour.  Is this place haunted? Absolutely not, it is full of the undying spirits of its people and I am one of them.  I may not be a landowner but I have roots in LBI and no one likes when trouble hits home or family.  You pitch in and support in any way you can.  It is a community of people when calm seas prevail and on the stormy days.

One of the most peaceful locations is sitting next to water and listening as it calmly touches the shoreline

If you add wind to the same scenario it gets a little more rough and frightening.  The power and importance of the ocean can never be underestimated

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top 10 Calm and then the Nor'easter

1. One year ago today, Sandy ravaged the coastline of the Jersey shore.  She was selective and many homes were spared but many felt her rage. She struck my little piece of paradise.  I can't claim to be a fortunate home owner at the beach, I haven't hit the lottery yet, but I do frequent LBI several times in a year, many times only as a day trip.  I know the island well. October is the most ideal time at the beach, when you truly get to connect with nature. The water can be warm too. Last year, as I was walking up to the beach,  with a neighbor, the last day of my week long retreat, I remarked what a beautiful day it was and he said, enjoy it, this could be the last one. For some reason the words struck me and I gave him a peculiar look and he said nah, nothing prophetic like that, it is just supposed to get colder.  That was two to three weeks before Sandy hit. This year my vacation was closer to the date.  You are going to get a nor'easter down there. My husband called and said.  I know in SE Pennsylvania a nor'easter can mean a lot of snow. So I said, what does that mean?  He said, you should be alright, just rain and wind. So I spent a good chunk of my retreat with a nor'easter and I hope to share with you what the Jersey shore is like during those times.

2. Enthusiasm was high, as it always is when I arrive in paradise. One of the first things I did was hit the beach.  I tried not to ruffle any feathers and then I quickly settled in.  What the beach does for me and maybe if you stop and notice what it does to you, my shoulders drop from that stiff held tension and a calm embraces me.  My Pilate's teacher has a good visual description for that, my shoulders slide into my back pockets.  Try it!  It is a very relaxing and soothing feeling. Next, I just let my hair down and fly freely in the wind.  It is called beach hair and it may not make it on the cover of any glamour magazine but it is a beautiful thing. If you notice the shadowed streak down the left side of the seagull pictures that is a strand.  Hair happens.

3. A whole week in paradise with no set plans.  What is a girl to do?  I pack well.  I bring ample food.  You have to eat and I bring my favorite things. A jigsaw puzzle, books I had three, read none, crossword puzzle book, no crosswords were exchanged, a watercolor tablet and paints, I have never painted before in my life, stick men are my specialty, but I was feeling like a challenge, a bike brought down earlier by my husband and stored in a friends garage a few blocks away and my camera which has always taken me to places I have never been before and has offered a whole new outlook on life, I was good to go.  In my opinion, gotta have a camera to see what you are missing and have the proof to share that experience when you get home.  Thank goodness for the digital age or I would be in the poor house with the amount of photographs I take.

4. Every island has its rules and mine are, you catch every sunrise and sunset you can.  I believe the coastal areas provide some of the best views and when in Rome, you appreciate. The Nor'easter, she put a damper on that but less than you might suspect.  I did get a chance to see nature before, during and after the weather struck.  It puts on quite a show and without a doubt expresses emotion. It was not the same impact as Sandy at all but had a lot of similarities.  No damage though and that is the most important part.

My first sunset, I thought I missed it.  I just had to be patient as it passed through the clouds.

5. The sunrise the next day just kept getting more and more picturesque.  Imagine starting your day out like this. I took that as a very good sign.

6. I ventured off the island this year to the other side of the bay. I have always wanted to go there. I have never been, only a visual as I watched the sun go down and with the impeding storm I wanted to make sure I did get to see it. It also is a very beautiful secluded area that probably most people have never seen. I always take supplies on my journeys.  I never know how long I will be. Okay the fudge in the picture, I did panic.  If I was going to be stuck in doors and  honker down, I was going to need fudge.  I had to wait till 10AM when they opened, but I knew it was a top priority on my agenda for the day.

7. I recently became a bird enthusiast and that was the intended destination.  I picked up a brochure a few years back of bird hotspots in Ocean County. I save everything.  I was looking for #8 on the list, WMA in Manahawkin. Me and the GPS don't mesh all that well, but I think I have a good sense of direction however, I did find myself, I won't call it lost, but I was not reaching my destination.  I drive by instinct. I ended up on a back road with a familiar name and I took it and ended up at Stafford Township Municipal office area.  I saw a guy with a clipboard walking towards the building and being a typical female asked directions.  A man would never admit he is off target.  So this guy tells me how close I am and directs me to a better spot.  When he knows why I was looking for WMA and birding, he says, you want to go to the Road to Nowhere.  My face must have revealed much trepidation to that idea. You will be fine he said, it is a gravel road but your car can take it.  It is a hunting area. I wasn't wearing camouflage, I was actually draped in a light yellow jacket. I didn't want to be mistaken for a duck or a canary. Hunting season, I questioned? Not now, he said, maybe some crabbers down there. I took his advice.  I like an adventure and it was maybe two minutes down the road where this Road to Nowhere began. Check out who I spotted and got pictures of.

I am told this is a Red Tailed Hawk but I wanted him to be a Northern Harrier but I am happy to have seen it none the less. Red Tail Hawks are cool too.

Now egrets are a dime a dozen in the marsh area, they actually dominant it in my mind's eye but they are also pretty special to catch especially fishing or in flight.  They are very graceful birds and emulate a touch of beauty.  So never discount a bird, one you can recognize and two that is plentiful.

It is not every day you get a flock of birds to pause a moment for a photo op.  Where does this happen? "Nowhere" in New Jersey. Interspersed in this crowd you can find crows, cowbirds and starlings only too happy to comply.

I am not going to say these are shy birds because they will sit still for long stretches of time upon a pole out in the middle of a marsh but get too close and they are taking off. The Belted Kingfisher is a native bird to the New Jersey coast.  I saw my first one last year on the island and I thought he was the most exotic bird I had ever seen. To date, it may be still my favorite. Describe it to a birder as a blue Woody Woodpecker, they all know what you mean. Not often can you catch a photograph of a Kingfisher in flight. They are too quick. This one was just about to fly off the wire above me on the Road to Nowhere. There were two of them traveling together.  I still believe it to be a special sight.

8. This was the last bird I saw on the Road to Nowhere.  Don't you just wonder what he or she is thinking looking down at me? I know I sure did. I was driving now and I spotted this hawk as it landed on the wires.  I rolled down my window and poked my camera out with the telephoto lens.  I could have gone automatic but my fussy camera would have focused on the wire so I fooled around with the manual setting.  My eyesight is not the best so it takes me a while.  He or she was probably wondering, what is she doing?  The hawk most likely knew this was not a bazooka pointed at it but wondered how long it was going to take. Not that I found this bird impatient, it stayed with me through several telephone pole hopping events but eventually flew off.  I am sure it had commitments of its own.  I got my shot.

9. I did fail to mention out in the middle of Nowhere (actually the marshes of Manahawkin) the road does lead to somewhere. It leads to the Bridge to Nowhere and I got the full story. This bridge, okay I didn't get that part why it was there but I was told by a stranger who happened along while I was out in the middle of nowhere that this bridge was used in a World War II movie, I want to say a Bridge Too Far but I would be lying if I said I remembered exactly which one.  This is precisely why I should take notes along with my pictures I meet people all the time that have stories and can tell about the lay of the land.  Look at the bridge though, you can envision it right? A perfect specimen to use in a war time movie and it is already damaged. It is  a pretty steep drop off if you climb to the top of the side that is no longer connected.  Watch your footing.

10. Okay so the dramatic, impressive story that this bridge was used by Hollywood in a movie may not be true.  I scanned the Internet for hours trying to confirm.  I did find pictures on the Library of Congress website but not a true explanation.  Finally, I found the two websites listed below.  It seems, and it makes sense in the 50's or 60's New Jersey Bell was installing telephone poles across the marshy area and constructed a bridge to get to the next section.  They never took the bridge down and eventually it fell into disrepair.  The movie story was a better one and maybe it is true but I was unable to confirm using Internet searches.

a 2010 manahawkinrealator blog link

Friday, October 25, 2013

Top 10 Spooky Things to Do

Monster Mini Golf in Feasterville, PA

Trick or Treat Trail October 26th at Franklin Square Noon to 3pm and Spooky Miniature Golf 6-9pm thru October 27th.

 Boo at the Zoo at the Philadelphia Zoo October 26 and 27.

Arasapha Farm family Friendly Harvest Hayride during the day and terrifying at night along with the frightening Bates Motel

Fright Factory in Queens Village Pennsport, Philadelphia

Fear Factory Behind the Hamilton Mall, Mays Landing, New Jersey.

Pennhurst Asylum located in Spring City.

Tippler Tour Ghosts and Toasts Pub Crawl in Philadelphia Begins 5:30 on Thursday evenings thru November 7th.

Ghost Tours of Philadelphia Candlelight Walking Tour

Eastern Penitentiary Terror Behind the Walls

Night of Terror located at Creamy Acres Farm in Mullica Hill New Jersey.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming October Events Part III

October 24, 25 and 26 Haunted Seaport, Three Scary Nights at the Tuckerton Seaport 6:30 - 9PM (out of town in Jersey).

 October 27th Fall Halloween and Witch Trial at Pennsbury Manor.  William Penn presided over the trial. Was she innocent?

October 27th Costume Parade at Linvilla 3PM and All You Can Carry Pumpkins $19.99.

October 27th History of the Hedgerow Theatre shared by Artistic Director Penelope Reed at the Helen Kate Furness Library at 2pm sponsored by the Nether Providence Historical Society.

October 27th 2013 Penn Medicine Radnor Run USATF grand Prix event 5 mile run and 1 mile fun walk benefits the American Lung Association.

October 27th Community Arts Center in Wallingford Empty Bowls Luncheon.

October 27th Hallo-Wheaton Trick or Treat at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey. (out of town in Jersey).

October 27th Nike Missile Radar Site  Noon to 4PM. Guided Tours of the Integrated Fire Control.  See where supersonic nuclear armed Nike missiles were controlled and guided using Cold War era computers and radars. More info Also Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Keepers Tour Daily 9am - 5pm. Tower tours 1pm to 4:30pm. (I did not get inside but the outside is amazing). It is the oldest in the country.
(out of town in Jersey).

October 28th Middletown Mondays  "The 1876 Centennial In Philadelphia": America's First World's Fair" lecture at Lima Estates 411 North Middletown Road, Media, PA 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Free and open to the public.

October 29th American Littoral Society Spooky Tales and Ghost of Historic Fort Hancock at Gateway National Park in New Jersey. Call ALS 732-291-0055  to make reservations.(out of town in Jersey).

October 30th Hocus Pocus Trick or Treat and Magic Show at the LBIFoundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, New Jersey on Long Beach Island. More information at (out of town in Jersey).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming October Events Part Two

October 26th Brandywine River Museum's All Hallow's Eve Costume Ball - The Devil's Playground Carnival 9pm - 1pm. For tickets

October 26th Mini Mayhem at Morgan Log House in Lansdale, PA free admission 12-3PM.

October 26th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day  10-2PM add your zip code at the link to find a drop off location near you.

October 26th Halloween on the Farm at the Colonial Plantation 11 - 5PM.

October 26th Delaware County Halloween Parade 2PM in Media on State Street. Raindate October 27th. 

October 26th at Tyler Arboretum What Tree Is This? Identification Walk "free with admission" 1:30 - 3PM. Raindate October 27th.

October 26th Ghostbusters at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA 2PM.

October 26th (weekend in October) The Great Pumpkin Train and Corn Maze Trains in Phillipsburg, New Jersey).  Check out other seasonal events at  (out of town in Jersey).

October 26-27th Ghosts Walks of Historic Chestertown, Maryland Friday at 8PM and Saturday at 6:30PM. out of town in Maryland.

October 26th-27th Goblins in the Garden at the Camden Children's Garden in Camden, New Jersey. 1-4PM. (out of town in Jersey).

Verify all information at the link before you venture out and have a bootiful time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming October Events Part One

October 17th - 27 The Philadelphia Film Festival.

October 24 - November 17 The 12th Annual Philadelphia Magazine Design Home 2013 located at Wrenfield in Villanova.$20 Benefits the Ronald McDonald House. For hours 215-387-8431 and for more information.

October 24 - 26 The Great Pumpkin Carve at Chadds Ford Histoical Society.  

October 25th - 27th Storybook Land in New Jersey Trick or Treat Weekend. A fun place to take kids.

October 25th Trick or Treat at Radnor Township Building Ages 5 and under can come for a safe trick or treat.

October 25th at 7PM Laurel Hill Soul Crawl, Haunted History Halloween Stories and also October 30th at 6PM.

October 25th Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Friday Night Live ConcertDoors open at 7PM. 

October 26th WELCOME DAY At the Landingford Plantation: the Caleb Pusey House 15 Race Street, Upland PA. Noon to 4:00 PM Antique Appraisals by Wilson’s Auction (Two Item Limit – First item is free; Second Item appraised for $5.00) Civil War and Colonial Reenactors, Colonial Craft Demonstrators showing: Leather-working, Candle Making & Lighting Devices, Colonial Toys, Blacksmithing, Theorem Painting, Chair Caning, Butter Making, Hand Quilting, Bee-Keeping, Tin Punching and more. Free Guided Tours of the 1683 Caleb Pusey House, “The Dilly” Antique Fire Apparatus For directions or information call 610-874-5665

October 26th and 27th Undercover Quilters 2013 Quilt Show, 10-4PM at the municipal building Brookhaven, PA. Check the website for the beautiful 2013 Raffle Quilt. 

October 26th Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City will host haunted tours at 5, 6, 7 and 8 for $20.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 10 Things That Constitute a Great Day

1. Not a cloud in the sky.

2. No traffic


4. Take the day off

5. Pay Day

6. A child is born

7. Your team wins the championship!

8. You Passed!

9. USA is open for business

10. Every one makes it home safe and sound.

Okay I have offered some tips now go out and have a GREAT WEEK!

Happy Monday

One day at a time

Friday, October 18, 2013

Top 10 New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge 2013

Over the next two days October 19 and 20th, New Jersey is presenting a challenge to visit and even climb if you wish 11 lighthouses, 2 Life Saving Stations and 2 Museums. Participants may purchase a souvenir passport for only $1 and have it stamped at each stop.

Here is a link and suggested map to follow.  Tinicum Light is the closest location to Delaware County but it is in New Jersey, so if it were me, I would start at the furthest point away early in the morning and I believe Sandy Hook is the furthest away. Your route depends on your location and your endurance.  Some of these locations are close and others are quite a drive away but that adds to the challenge too.  The website did list two locations that are part of the National Park Service having alternate locations Sand Hook and Finns due to the government shutdown but I think we are all past that now.  Just double check before you head out on your journey.

The United States Coast Guard has maintained lighthouses in the United States since 1939.

The Tinicum Rear Range Light located in Billingsport, New Jersey works in conjunction with a Front Range Light. By aligning the two lights with one on top it keep ships in the center of the Delaware and keeps them from running into little Tinicum Island. Both range lights went into operation in 1880 and the rear light, a fixed red light was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 15, 2005.

In the United States, the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 provides for the transfer of lighthouse structures to local governments and private non-profit groups, while the USCG continues to maintain the lamps and lenses.

Finns Point Rear Range Light is located in Pennsville, New Jersey

Lighthouses are popular icons on vehicle license plates. Barnegat Lighthouse, Tuckerton Island Lighthouse, Thomas Point Shoal Light, Saybrook Breakwater Light, White Shoal Light, and Biloxi Light are so depicted.[27]

 U. S. Lighthouse Efficiency pennant was awarded to Keepers who had outstanding quarterly inspections for an entire year.

 Prior to winning the Battle of Gettysburg George Meade designed five lighthouses, three of those lighthouses are on the Lighthouse Challenge "New Jersey", Barnegat Light in Long Beach Island, Absecon Light in Atlantic City and Cape May Light in Cape May.  The other two are located in Jupiter, and Sombrero Light in the Florida Keys.


Absecon Light (1857) located in Atlantic City is the tallest in the state of New Jersey and the 3rd tallest in the country with 228 steps.  I counted them and my heart is still beating strong from the experience. Hatteras is the tallest but it is not in New Jersey so today it does not count. Absecon still has the original Fresnel lens attached.  It is a level one the highest power.  The tower was identified by sea as blue and white during the day and a straight and steady white light at night. It is currently inactive.

Barnegat's (1859) trademark signal of a white flash every ten seconds could be seen along the New Jersey coast and its tower it red and white. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It is an active lighthouse.

 Cape May Lighthouse first lit on Halloween (1859).  It had a first order Fresnel lens which is now located in the Cape May County Historical Museum. It was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places November 12, 1973.  It is an active lighthouse.

The oldest lighthouse in the United States still in existence is Sandy Hook (1764) New Jersey. I don't know if it is because it was the first or all the history that this building has witnessed that made me fascinated by it and Fort Hancock looks like an interesting place to discover.  You can find more information about this area and events at and

The lighthouses styles throughout New Jersey alternate from house to tower. Tuckerton Seaport Museum has an entire area village replica that is worth an extended stay.

Hereford Inlet (1874) was deactivated and an automated light replaced the 4th order Fresnel Lens.  This lens is on display on the 2nd floor of the Lighthouse. The automated light once outside on a tall iron tower was moved inside and the lighthouse is currently an active navigational aid.

This is a Fourth Order Fresnel Lens it was used in 1924 various fuels were used to operate it whale oil, lard and eventually kerosene was the standard fuel.  This lens revolved and flashed and was operated like a grandfather's clock and the pulleys and weighted cables.  The keeper had to re-wind it every four hours.

Sea Grit

Navesink "Twin Lights" is the only connected lighthouse in the world. Only on special occasions including the Challenge Weekend is the South Tower open.  You can see beautiful views of New York by climbing the North Tower.

The locations Sandy Hook Light, Navesink Twin Lights, Sea Grit Light, Barnegat Light, Barnegat Light Museum, Tucker's Island Light, Absecon Light, U.S. Saving Station 30, Cape May County Museum, Tatham Life Saving Station, Hereford Inlet Light and Delaware Bay Lights (Virtual Tour), Cape May Light, East Point Light, Finns Point Light and Tinicum Light all located in New Jersey.

Some information was obtained from and the lighthouse websites.